1. Overland Park Is Better Than Just About Anywhere
The average median income is higher in Overland Park
than the rest of the country, but the cost of living remains lower, making OP extremely wallet friendly. It’s also active, community-oriented, and packed with things to do. It’s no wonder it's constantly ranked at the top of lists of the best cities to live in - check with Livability and CNN Money if you don't believe me.
2. It’s The Number One Soccer City In The Country
Recently named number one in the Top 10 Soccer Cities in the United States, the locals in Overland Park go crazy for the world’s most popular sport. The recently revamped Overland Park Soccer Complex includes 12 lighted fields with electronic scoreboards, a field cooling system to keep the turf from getting too hot for players, and cooling fans kept at player benches.
In OP, everything comes second to soccer season.
3. It’s A Slower Way Of Life With All The Perks Of A City
Traffic, work, crowds, lines, traffic – cities are full of hassles that stress everyone out. But even with Overland Park’s rapidly increasing population (because, duh, everyone wants to live here), locals never seem to have the same problems as most cities do.
Locals get all the perks of living in a city without the typical daily grind. But, with so many activities to keep you busy in Overland Park, there are no promises that you’re not still going to want a nap.
4. Overland Park Loves Local
Downtown Overland Park hosts Local Life 3rd Fridays every month encouraging residents to shop local and to continue participating in their already active community. Businesses stay open late and offer snacks, specials, promotions, entertainment and special treats.
5. They’re Really Into Their Farmers Market
For more than 30 years Overland Park has been bringing farm to table dinners to locals with their famous farmer’s market. With tons of farm-fresh produce, local foods, specialty baked and canned goods, and a huge list of vendors, the Overland Park Farmer’s Market is a hot spot for locals who want to eat seasonally and sustainably while giving back to their community.
6. The City Rallies Behind Each Other
Living in a city has numerous benefits, but one of the downfalls is the loss of a close-knit community. But the folks in Overland Park get the best of both worlds. If you’re in need, you can count on your neighbors to lend a hand. And from entertainment events to fundraisers, the community comes out to show support in droves.
7. They Give The South A Run For Its Barbecue Title
If you think the South is the only place that gets barbecue right, then you’ve never been to Jack Stack Barbecue in Overland Park.
If you want to blend in with the locals and look like a barbecue connoisseur, then order the “burnt ends,” easily the most popular barbecue dish in the area. The atmosphere at Jack Stack is more upscale than a dive-y barbecue pit one might assume, making for the perfect lip-smackin’, finger-lickin’ meal.
8. Dinos And Bowling And Beer… Oh My!
Overland Park City residents have been anxiously awaiting the unveiling of Prairiefire, yet another addition to this growing city that opened just last month. With upscale restaurants, storefronts, and large outdoor recreational areas. Perhaps the best part is the Prairifire Museum, with hands-on exhibits and authentic artifacts from the American Museum of Natural History of New York.
9. The Musicians Take It To The Streets
During community events and the farmer’s market, there are almost always local musicians jamming in the streets. But sometimes they just jam on their own to continue filling the streets with music that makes you feel good and want to move, just like the city of Overland Park does.
10. Rock N’ Roll All Night And Party Every Day
As unlikely as it seemed, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley chose Overland Park for their newest business venture—a restaurant called Rock & Brew in Prairiefire, marking one of the first places in the Midwest to play home to the KISS member’s franchise.
11. They Like Keeping It Old School
To remain cohesive with Overland Park’s wholesomely classic vibe, Deanna’s Farmstead created a mini main street of stores open to the public year round. Storefronts include Vic’s General Store, Alex and Emily's Ice Cream Parlor, and Ben's Bank.
12. You’ll Want To Learn How To Fish
Everyone knows how to fish in Overland Park. If you don’t, you’re going to stick out like a sore thumb. You don’t have to go out on a boat, though, to reel them in. All you have to do is grab at pole on the bridge at the Farmstead and see if you can keep up with the locals.
13. The Park Is More Like A Fairytale
Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens has more than five miles of trails to make it easy for visitors to explore. Sit at the story tree or skip rocks in the frog pond in the Children’s Discovery Garden, or look through the many different native plants in the Legacy Garden. Birds and butterflies swarm through the Erikson Water Garden and the Train Garden includes a life-size caboose and box car.
14. There’s Always Something New To Do
There’s always some kind of fun coming to Overland Park. From the U.S. Bank Great Midwest Balloon Fest, to Motocross races, the annual Fall Festival, the city always has something beyond the usual going on. And since everything in Overland Park is almost always family-friendly, you’ll never have to hear the words “I’m bored” again.
15. Kids Love Music In The Park
Every Sunday from June through August, Overland Park hosts Music In The Park. Pack a picnic and bring a chair to enjoy the live, local music and festivities with the rest of the community for an evening of wholesome entertainment all for free. And if your dog digs music, you’re welcome to bring them on a leash, making Sunday a fun day for everyone.
16. Don’t Cry, Art Lovers, There’s Plenty For You, Too
The Nerman Museum Of Contemporary Art at Johnson County Community College is art in and of itself, and only draws more attention to the minimalist modernism around the city. The museum was opened by art collectors Jerry and Margaret Nerman who are often said to allow visitors to see their own personal art collections in their private home.
17. You Can Channel Your Inner Tony Hawk...
A lot of cities are hard on skaters and ban them from doing what they love in public places. But OP decided to give them an awesome spot to work on their skills with their very own skate park.
Located in Switzer Park, the Overland Park Skate Park offers dare devils young and old a multi-height quarter pipe, mini-bowls, stairs with handrails, a launch ramp, low rails, curbs and more.
18. … Or Your Inner Shaun White
Everyone knows Kansas as “The Flat State,” but it’s not quite as flat as you’d imagine. Winters can get pretty harsh in Overland Park, but the locals still make the most of it by pulling out their sleds and spending the days hitting their modest (but fun) slopes.
19. The Theaters Are Full Of Retro Flare
At the Rio, which is just as vintage inside as it is out, guests can catch a kitschy film on the theater’s one screen. The popular Glenwood Arts Theater hosts live performances in a setting that looks like it hasn’t been retouched since its inception in 1966, down to the classic theater uniforms on the staff.
20. Free Public Art Everywhere You Turn
It seems almost everywhere you look in Overland Park, there’s another piece of art to dazzle your eye. There’s the Shim Sham Shimmy on Metcalf and The Walking Man at Johnson Community College. But perhaps the most surprising is the fact that even the recycling center has art on display. Made of recyclables, of course.
21. And You Can Even Watch Them In Action
Stems Plein Air Paint gathers the most talented artists from around the city to paint together out in the open air as quickly as possible to be able to best capture the natural light. The event offers artist workshops and painting challenges, and everyone's welcome.
While walking through the popular areas of the city, it’s not uncommon to pass by a cluster of artists trying to capture the beauty of Overland Park on their canvases.
What you love about living in Overland Park? Tell us in the comments below!